A Breath of Fresh Air

How I'm getting back out into the countryside whilst living with MS

Spring Awakenings

Ok, so I can stand the rain, but I have to admit that a day by Lake Windermere in beautiful spring sunshine is even better! A whole day of fresh air!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We were there for an assorted family gathering, including my sister who was visiting from New Zealand, and who also has MS. Such gatherings often include congregating at the lake, since earliest memories for my siblings and me include days by the lake shore, pottering about with Dad’s (now practically vintage!) motor boat.

It was therefore essential for us to have a spin in Dad’s boat but, as a bonus,  my brother also had use of a kayak for the day. My sister was thus able to try out something that I’ve been doing over the last couple of summers, and she glided across the lake whilst someone else did the hard work!

spotting relatives amongst the reeds

spotting relatives amongst the reeds


Later I also had a go. I was going to paddle too but my brother seemed to be coping admirably on his own, and I thought I’d just interfere with his strokes. Besides, the drips from my paddle would have got my trousers wet!

A kayaking club had gathered for its monthly expedition and they magically came to my assistance when I needed to get in and out of the kayak.  There was none of the usual awkward shuffling into position.  Instead, I was lifted extremely efficiently by suddenly appearing arms before I even knew what was happening!

pretending to be part of the kayak expedition!

pretending to be part of the kayak expedition!


There was plenty to watch from the shore too. A sailing race was taking place and the yachts were cutting through the water at a good rate of knots right in front of us. You could hear the sharp rattle of sails as the boats tacked away just in time to continue down their course. We could also watch the kayaks as they paddled away up the lake.

We were treated, too, to the spectacle of the smallest members of our party running around all day with more energy than the rest of us put together. I lay back amongst the daffodils – a most satisfactory place to rest!

When I’m outdoors I really don’t need to be doing much to feel better!



Single Post Navigation

7 thoughts on “Spring Awakenings

  1. That sounds lovely 🙂 reminds me of sea kayaking in New Zealand, where me and my bloke ended up with a group of very lively US ‘seniors’ who could all paddle harder than us!

  2. Cheryl Payne on said:

    Found this and was wondering if your sister could give me some advice. I am visiting NZ in Jan 2015. I have MS we are travelling to Auckland and hiring a camper van to explore the South Island. Would she have any tips for things to do. I cam walk short distances with my crutch. Don’t use a wheelchair but might have to on this journey as I don’t want to be to much of a drag on my husband, son and his partner. I would love to do something exciting I am a really good swimmer. Thanks for any tips Cheryl Payne

    • I’ll certainly ask her! In the meantime, I went to Queenstown with her a few years ago, before I was affected, but she was. We had a fantastic time going jetboating! We also enjoyed a trip on a steamship on Lake Wakatipu. In fact, it’s a great destination altogether and the town is pretty compact for getting about although I’d probably recommend using a wheelchair to make life easier (it is flat). She might have tips about Auckland where she lives but may have info about S Island too. Will you be staying in Auckland for a bit, or other parts of N Island? I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time!

      • Cheryl Payne on said:

        A bit of a trek really my son and I are flying to Sydney on 11th Jan then flying to Auckland on 16th my niece lives there so we will be spending 5 days there. My husband and sons partner fly out on 20th. We are all flying to Christchurch on 21st to pick up the camper van we will spend 8 days itinerary to be planned and fly back to Sydney on 28th for two days agh!!! Any helpful info woud be much appreciated
        Regards Cheryl

      • Oh gosh, quite a lot going on! I’m sure you’ll have a great time (with maybe some time to rest factored in!) My sister is going to get back to me so I’ll be in touch.
        Best wishes,

      • My sister has now got back to me and this is her advice:

        “First and most important you probably already have done but book wheelchair assistance. This is great for negotiating airports and the airport staff always seem very helpful.
        In Auckland going around the viaduct is great as it is all flat. Do use a wheelchair though as it is often hot at that time of year and you will be able to see more. There are a lot of nice places to eat along here.

        The first time I used a wheelchair was on a trip to Christchurch a few years before the earthquake. I found that we could go a lot further and had a lovely walk through the park.

        The beaches here are usually close to parking. It will be school holidays when you are here but it still won’t be as busy as Europe.

        I went zorbing in Rotorua (rolling down hill in big plastic ball). The activities you would like to do are probably practical and people are usually very helpful, I am probably limited through my own lack of nerve!”

        I hope this is helpful and that you have a great time. I would only reiterate that Queenstown is great for various activities and distances are fine with a wheelchair, and it is beautifully situated. Do let us know how you get on!


I'd love to hear your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: